The Humble Squidgy Lobby
Since the addition of the Lobby to the Squidgy range I have tried several different methods from using them on the surface, enticing Bream and Perch to almost leave the water to chase down the offering, to rigging them on a heavy jig head to fish the depths of 10m and beyond. In this article I will detail some of the shallow water presentations that I have built confidence in over the past few seasons. Surface fishing on the south coast of NSW can be productive all year round, but best results are usually during the warmer months. Fishing around structure generally produces some of the most aggressive hits you will experience, but if fishing over the flats, a slight technique change will encourage the fish to bite.
When fishing structure like oyster racks and rock bars, I rig the lobby on a light hidden weight (secret weight) jig head. Best results are tide dependant and I find that a rising tide fishes the best. Oyster racks need to be submerged by only a few centimetres up to about 30cm. I will normally trim the plastic down, removing the tail section then rig so it runs backwards so that the ‘legs’ trail the lure. Long casts are a must and I will usually cast over a few sets of racks on an angle. I start the retrieve before the plastic has landed on the water, holding the rod tip high and winding fast enough to keep the plastic skipping along the surface.
A good set of polaroid glasses are a must as you need to be watching behind your surface running plastic. Fish will appear from under the racks or the rock bar and tail the lure. Often the fish will have its shoulders out of the water as they charge down the lobby. Letting the fish eat the lure too early will normally result in spectacular bust offs as the fish will instantly run for cover once hooked. It is up to the angler to slow the retrieve once he/she believes they should be able to land the fish. As the retrieve slows, the lure sinks below the surface and Bream or Perch will literally inhale the lure and run for cover. The angler needs to keep the retrieve constant through the take so that with the fish’s momentum and the high rod tip, the chances of landing the fish are increased, trying to keep the head close to the surface and skipping the fish into the boat. It sounds easy, but plenty of fish are lost due to the nature of the structure being fished. A variation to the retrieve when the fish are spooky or just plain shy is to keep the Lobby on the
surface until it reaches the edge of the rack or rocky outcrop, then stop the retrieve and let the lure sink. When fishing Oyster racks, II try to let the current wash the lobby under the rack. With the light weight used, and the fluttering of the Squidgy Lobby with a general amount of S Factor smeared all over it, Bream and Perch find it hard to resist.
When fishing the flats, various rigging methods and jig head weights and styles can be used depending on depths fished and conditions. When fishing in shallow water (1m or shallower) I tend to fig the Lobby with either a Squidgy resin head with a size 2 hook or a secret weight jig head in 1gm. I will rig either the same as when fishing structure or trim the legs off so it has the profile of a prawn and rig the jig head from the front (sometimes trimming the pointed nose of the Lobby to form a slight concave). Long casts are an advantage and I will usually use fluorocarbon in 2lb or 3lb straight through as this helps with the sink rate of the Lobby. Once again, I will start the retrieve as the lure lands on the surface. I will have the lure skipping along the surface for about 2 - 3 meters before letting the rod tip drop, and allowing the lure the settle to the bottom. When fishing weed beds, you will find the fish will hit the lure on the drop, or as it rests on top of the weed. I have been known to let the lure sit (dead stick) for up to 30 seconds or more before continuing with the retrieve. If no initial interest, continue the retrieve. I will give the lure a few quick rips, getting the lure back to the surface then repeat the start of the retrieve.
You can also fish this same technique in depths up to 3m. Jig head weight can be adjusted up to 1.5g to suit conditions. With a heavier jig head, I tend to use 3lb power pro with a 4lb fluorocarbon leader. The legs can be left if fishing the Lobby forward when using a ball head jig head as well. I tend to trim them close to the head to allow them to flutter more aggressively as the lure falls to the depths. Hits can come from anywhere near the surface to the bottom, and if fished with a light jig head, hits can be quite sharp with the fish often pulling drag before you get the chance to set the hook. When fishing the outside edges of the weed beds, you will encounter many different species including Bream, Flathead, Flounder, Whiting and even Snapper in some systems.